NESN on-field reporter Jenny Dell knew that the backlash was coming. But she couldn’t have known just how deep or just how real things would get. And spring training hasn’t even officially begun.
News of Dell and Boston third baseman Will Middlebrooks’ romantic relationship became official last month. Amidst calls for Dell to be fired due to a conflict of interest, the reporter has been heaped a fair helping of criticism, all the while taking it in stride without creating any additional stir with any response. NESN subsequently moved her off the on-field reporting duties, for which her popularity has soared since she got the job prior to the 2012 season.
Unfortunately, thanks to an uncomfortable incident in which the Red Sox team mascot turned a cold shoulder to Dell during Saturday’s Truck Day™, she is coming to more fully realize the downfalls to being a bombshell reporter.
Sources tell Fenway Pastoral that sometime Saturday morning, Dell approached Wally the Green Monster about doing a lighthearted interview segment as part of NESN’s expansive Truck Day™ coverage.
Wally, a source confirmed, brushed his shoulder briskly as though cleaning off a bit of lint with one of his large, oversized paws, utterly dismissing Dell’s overture. Then he sauntered away.
All this comes just over four months after Wally nearly broke his 16-year silence by granting Dell an exclusive interview for NESN.com.
Media experts who initially called for Dell’s dismissal from NESN feel she’s simply being served her just desserts.
“It’s Truck Day and Jenny can’t get the team mascot to talk to her. God, that is embarrassing! This is really just Jenny taking her medicine,” spat one media guru, struggling to contain his excitement.
“I say ‘Good for Wally’!” another expert said. “He’s just drawing a line in the sand on this and I commend him for it. I’ve heard that Jenny’s been leading the poor furry little thing on for two years. Now, it looks like the ol’ shoe is on the other proverbial over-sized, green plush foot if you know what I mean.”
However, people who have been around the team say Wally has had a hopeless crush on Dell since she was hired by NESN and that having to hear about her relationship with Middlebrooks over Twitter was the last, galling straw that broke the creature’s back.
(Fenway Pastoral also notes that Wally has a somewhat checkered past when it comes to his relationship with network talent vis a vis this 2011 story about his odd affection for Jade McCarthy, who left NESN for ESPN shortly thereafter: Wally the Green Monster Sends Lewd Text Message to NESN’s Jade McCarthy).
“I don’t want to say Jenny led him on or anything,” said a team official. “But, yeah, it’s possible he misconstrued her interview requests and photo ops with him as something more intimate. Look, Ms. Dell is a very attractive woman and sometimes, in the throes of love, we delude ourselves.”
The Sox mascot had only this to say through his spokesmen: “I admit it. I’m hurt. I’ve heard a lot of people say I’m not a real player even though I wear a Red Sox uniform, walk around on the field before games, and show up to charity events and birthday bases. I’m more or less one of Jenny’s coworkers. We’re both team employees. She owed me better than to do me like that. Things between us will never be the same again.”